A Summer Paradise: 36 Hours in Miami

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Southern Florida, more specifically, Miami, is a true paradise of relaxation and festivities. Many people may associate Miami with unparalleled partying and beachgoing, which is available for whoever seeks it; but there is something more profound to the city, a deep, unique cultural scene supported by great cuisine, vibrant music, and visionary artists. Miami is a multidimensional coastal metropolis of colors, sounds, and sensations – one that invites you to explore its dashing streets, its thought-forward galleries, and its rich history. 

To assist your stay in Miami, we’re offering you this 36-hour guide to Miami. We offer our best choices of lodging, activities, and food that eloquently depict the Magic City.

Where to stay:  

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Downtown Miami’s YVE Hotel Miami is located in the heart of the downtown area. It overlooks gorgeous Biscayne Bay and is only 15 minutes away from South Beach by car. Its bohemian and stylish approach to decorum makes this hotel both comfortable and modern. YVE offers a vast variety of rooms and styles (for single guests and couples), with varying amenities and furniture. Rooms start at $149. 

Located on beautiful Miami Beach, The Gale Hotel offers a minimalist, yet tropical take on decorum. The Gale is both comfortable and contemporary with modern wood accents, vintage-inspired furniture, and a sleek white-blue style. The hotel is a mere block from the beach, and it’s surrounded by succulent restaurants and cafes. Rooms start at $204. 

Friday (9 AM to 1:30 PM): The Best of Miami 

On this guided tour, enjoy the charm and cultural beauty of Miami. You’ll visit some of the most popular landmarks and neighborhoods, and get a real taste of what the city has to offer. Schedule to be picked up from your hotel on a comfortable bus, and be driven across town on this narrated tour. Discover the splendor of Miami’s urban design, featuring the world’s largest collection of Art Deco buildings and the perfect blend of both historical and contemporary design. Explore Venetian Causeway, home to the super-wealthy, and later explore the gorgeous Little Havana, the country’s largest Cuban neighborhood. Finally discover the artistic district known as Wynwood, where empty warehouses were turned into art galleries, and where boutique hotels and graffitied walls line the streets. 

(Photo by Joe deSousa/Unsplash) 

Friday (2 PM to 3 PM): La Sandwisherie

Established in 1988, this sandwich shop embodies the French mindset of tasty, simple, fresh foods for all. Crispy baguettes and buttery croissants are served with piled veggies and meats and cheeses that make anyone’s mouth water. While the line may be a bit long, you’ll be served quickly and leave feeling greatly satisfied.

 (Photo by Raphael Nogueira/Unsplash)

Friday (3 PM to 4:30 PM): Biscayne Bay Boat Tour

After your delish sandwich, discover the beauty of downtown Miami from the water! Biscayne Bay is a natural lagoon, located to the east of the city. On this private boat ride, enjoy the relaxing and crystal clear waters of the Atlantic, while you’re shown the mansions and the mega-yachts of the ultra-wealthy. Miami may be known as a playground for the powerful and rich, and you get to experience lavished living on this fun boat tour. 

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Friday (6 PM – 7 PM): Dinner at Versailles

Cuban cuisine is an absolute staple in Miami. Home to the largest Cuban population outside of the Caribbean island, Little Havana’s true magic lies with the people and their food. Versailles is the unofficial official restaurant of the city’s Cuban community, and it features some of the best authentic Cuban meals. Get a flan, a coffee, and don’t forget about the famous Cuban sandwich! They also have vaca frita and croquetas, amongst a large variety of items. Come for the food, stay for the banter with locals. 

(Photo by Jason Perlow/Flickr) 

Friday (Late Night): Coconut Grove and Lively Fun

Coconut Grove is the city’s oldest neighborhood; it has been around even before Miami was incorporated as a city. This bohemian neighborhood is full of charm and quaint architecture. It also offers some of the best sunset views in the entire city. As you stroll down this famed district, enjoy some fresh seafood, great cocktails, and live music at Monty’s Raw Bar. Located right on the coast of Biscayne Bay, Monty’s is a famed tiki bar with some of the best atmospheres around. This is a family-friendly establishment so you can come with some company and share some incredible times with incredible folks. 

(Photo by Adrian Diaz-Sieckel/Unsplash)

Saturday (9 AM to 10:30 AM): Breakfast at Morgan’s 

This local eatery is best known for its homemade delights. Located in a 1930’s house in Wynwood, this restaurant has a delightful menu of comfort foods with sizeable portions. Get some French toast, sticky buns, perhaps a brilliant English breakfast, and even some raspberry flat cakes. Don’t forget a Mango paradise smoothie and some bread pudding (for the road, of course.) 

(Photo by Brooke Lark) 

Saturday (12 PM to 4 PM): A Visit to Oleta River State Park 

This marine park is Florida’s largest urban green space. Located a quick car ride outside of Miami, come and bike, kayak, run, swim, and hike across this spectacular state park. Many kayak tours are available, or just lay in the dunes and take a quick nap to the sound of gentle waves and mangroves swaying in the ocean breeze. Don’t forget your sunscreen!

(Photo by Visit Florida/Flickr)